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Baja Chicken Tostadas

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods, Poultry On August 12, 2010 2 Comments

On a recent trip to Baja California, Mexico, my husband and I stayed in a condominium resort on the coast. Whenever I want fast food in Baja, I can quickly find a “pollo rostizado” (rotisserie chicken), some tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cilantro and chiles. I then emulate the locals by making a tostada out of whatever ingredients I have found.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
8 to 12 corn tostada shells
4 to 5 cups precooked rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded and meat diced
5 to 6 cups shredded lettuce
1 carrot, peeled and finely shredded
1/2 cup finely shredded purple cabbage
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
One Salsa and … Whatever recipe (found in our Recipes, under “Salad Dressings, Salsas & Savory Sauces)
2/3 cup grated Cotija, Manchego or Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Place tostada shells on a serving platter and the chicken in a serving bowl in center of dining table.

2. In a separate serving bowl, combine the lettuce, carrot, cabbage and cilantro.

3. Arrange a bowl of the salsa and a bowl of grated cheese next to other bowls.

4. Ask each guest to assemble their own tostadas: add some chicken to tostada shell, followed by lettuce mixture, some salsa and a sprinkle of grated cheese.

5. Enjoy with chilled white wine, beer or a shot of Tequila.

Keep in mind that the fun part is trying to eat the tostada while it breaks and falls apart with every bite.

Buen Provecho!

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Spicy Indian Chicken

In Poultry On April 2, 2010 0 Comments

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

I created this recipe for my husband who rates Indian food as his number one choice whenever we go out to dinner. While I avoid the heavily condimented dishes such as curries, I enjoy lighter fare which usually includes lots of vegetables. This chicken dish is spicy, aromatic and a feast for the eyes and palate!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (safflower or sunflower oil preferred)
1 to 2 Serrano chiles, stems discarded and flesh cut into thin circles
1 each red and green bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rings
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/8 teaspoon each ground cumin, chili and curry powder
Salt, to taste
One pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/3 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro leaves
3 tomatoes, quartered (pulp removed and discarded)

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch skillet and stir fry the chiles, peppers and onion on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, spices and salt and stir fry 30 seconds longer. Transfer the stir fried vegetables to a plate and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same skillet and add the chicken pieces; stir fry on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup chicken broth; cover and cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (cut into one piece and taste it).

Add the stir fried vegetables to the chicken in skillet, followed by the chopped cilantro leaves and tomatoes. Stir to heat for 1 minute, and add salt, to taste.

Serve immediately with steamed rice and a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio wine.

Vegan Variation: Replace chicken with one package extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch squares. Instead of chicken, stir fry tofu pieces in 4 tablespoons oil, on medium-low heat, 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Follow remaining recipe directions.

Tip: If desired, add a little more cumin, chili or curry, to taste. If making this recipe with kids in mind, do not add more spices and omit the Serrano chiles.

Note: I prefer a curry powder called Neera’s Curry Masala (An Authentic Indian Spice Mix), which is a blend of over 20 different exotic spices used for curries and vegetable sautes. This product is sold on Amazon.com, at gourmet and ethnic food shops.

Text and Photographs © Nancy Real 2010